In order to start an adventurous exploration of Barcelona curvy streets, wide boulevards, gourmet joints and many many other exciting things the first you have to do is to get to the city. Well…yeah, it is kind of obvious. Nevertheless you might be interested how.
Airport express bus AEROBUS
The most convenient way to get to the city is to fetch express bus. It goes directly to the city center with the following stops: Plaza Espanya, Gran Via-Urgell, Plaza Universitat and Plaza Catalunya. The first bus gets off at 05:35 a.m. and within 5-7 minutes interval busses come and go carrying excited visitors and bored locals to the sunny and welcoming city of Barcelona. The last one departs at 01:00 a.m., so, if you arrive at night, you will have to use other options. The price of the trip on this air-conditioned and spacious bus is € 5,90. It goes from both terminals and has free WiFi. This pretty blue AEROBUS is a guarantee of comfortable trip to Barcelona city center.
It is approximately 20-25 minutes to get from the first terminal (T1) to your destination by taxi, from the second (T2) it is going to be 5 minutes longer. The minimum charge is of € 20 wherever you go, but the final price is usually around € 30-35.
Bear in mind that surcharges are supplemented for travelling at weekends, at night, festive days (which Spaniards have in abundance) and picking up and dropping off at the airports or ports.
The surcharges are always displayed on a right window sticker at the back of the cab. So you can get to know them and be prepared. When you arrive at your destination, the surcharge will be entered by a taxi driver. So don’t start scandalous behavior playing a poor deceived tourist, nevertheless don’t be too nonchalant either.
Another convenient way to get to Barcelona city center is the airport train. It has stops at three main stations - Estacio Sants, Passeig de Gràcia and El Clot. Figure which one is the closest to you apartment, and take in account that all the three stations have a connection with metro.
Travelling by train could also be the case, if your trip goes beyond Barcelona city. Thus Sants Estasio is a joint to catch the train for a huge number of destinations for Barcelona outskirts and Spain in general.
The timetable for the train varies during the year. Although waiting time shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes, you may check departing times on the RENFE website. The first train starts at 05:42 a.m., while the last one at 23:38.
A price for a single ticket is € 4.10. The train leaves from the second terminal (T2), so if you arrive at T1 you have to make a 10 minute trip by shuttle bus in order to get to the train station.
To my humble opinion this is the most inconvenient way to get to Barcelona, but let me write about it in case you are masochistic.
The L9 line connects the city with both terminals of the airport. The operating time is in line with normal metro system which is from Monday to Thursday between the hours of 05:00 to 00:00, on Fridays from 05:00 to 02:00, and on Saturdays it operates from 05:00 till 00:00 of Sunday. On festive days the timetable may vary. The single ticket costs € 4.50 and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the loooong trip to the city center.
Airport Bus N46
This bus is the cheapest way to get to the city center. The operating hours is from 04:50 to 23:50. It stops at terminal 2 (T2) and then continues to terminal 1. The bus has much more stops than Aerobus, thus the journey to the city center takes more time. However the price is very attractive. You can buy a single ticket, which costs € 2.15, but if you plan to use public transport during your stay, it’s a better idea to buy T10 transport ticket. Only for € 9,95 you will have 10 journeys valid in public transport of Barcelona, including metro, buses and of course this exact bus, which will bring you to the city center. Bear in mind that T10 ticket can not be purchased at the bus. You can buy it either at the tobacco shops or at the entrance to the RENFE train station.
Airport Night Bus N17, N16
This bus is a reflection of bus N46, the only difference is that it operates at night. The N16 starts from terminal 1 at 21:55 and operates until 04:45. The price policies are exactly the same as for any public bus of Barcelona (see bus N46) .
The night bus for terminal 2 is N16, all the rest remains the same.
Pick the option which appeals you the most and let your amazing journey begin!
Here you can find more useful tips to make your trip colorful and tasty.